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Take a hard look at the command line

Feb 02, 2009, 23:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Locutus)

"Whether it is a full screen frontal attack or a box that pops up on command, the same basic look is there. A black area with a flashing cursor. There is no indication of what you are supposed to do. The implication here is that you are supposed to know what to do. That still doesn't hide the fact that this is the first time you are looking at a command line and feeling like a real dumb cluck.

"In this case it is ok to feel like a dumb cluck because we all started from that position. Even Bill and Linus would have had much the same feeling the first time they looked at a command line. So what do people normally do when they come across an unknown situation? They ask for help.

"This is exactly what we are going to do now. We are going to ask the computer for help. How? We just type


"and press the enter key. Lo and behold something happens! Amazing! Depending on your operating system, typing help will give you a few useful commands. What you did when you typed the command help was start a program called help."

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